It’s Oscars season at the moment, and while big name directors may be ruling the big screen, when it comes to desktop and mobile screens, you don’t need to be the next Scorsese or Tarantino to create truly audience worthy video content online.
While getting behind the camera can be intimidating for most, the pay off for shooting quality branded content has always been great, and is expected to hold even more weight in 2017. According to technology conglomerate, Cisco, video now accounts for more than 69% of all consumer internet traffic, a trend that hasn’t gone unnoticed, with Nielsen Research claiming that 64% of marketers expect video to drive their branding efforts in the future.
But before you go and shoot some footage of yourself in a stark white board room, fake plant in the corner and you sweating nervously in front of the lense, we’ve put together a few tips and tricks to keep in your repertoire for creating highly engaging video content. And like most great directors, we’ll be taking inspiration from the content that’s already out there, looking at a selection of successful content marketing videos, exploring what made them work, and what tactics you should press record on.
IKEA gives you the idea....
Just about everyone loves a trip to IKEA. The cross sections of your ideal home crammed into a pleasant, dimly lit warehouse, the smell of Swedish meatballs wafting from the dining area…
But when it comes to creating that ideal home by building products you’ve purchased, the Swedish retailer is notoriously renowned for inducing bouts of hair pulling, excessive sweating and raised voices. Who would have ever thought flat packs could be so hard?
In answer, IKEA developed instructional online videos walking customers through short, but sharp tutorials for how to build some of their most popular products.
The Takeaway: This approach to answering FAQ’s from customers not only positions your brand as an authority in an easily digestible way, but showcases your attention to customer service, putting the consumer before the sale. Additionally, this approach can be relatively low cost; if you are an SaaS company, a screencast with good quality audio is enough to show you care for your audience.
Meet the Makers
Some of the best branded videos are the ones that make you completely forget that you are actually watching a piece of branded content, but rather watching a slice of life.
Such is the case with Intel’s ‘Meet the Makers’ series which shares the stories of individuals who have used an Intel product in order to make a difference in their community. In this particular video, we meet thirteen year old, Shubham Banerjee, who is determined to create a braille printer to assist those who are blind.
The Takeaway: What makes this so powerful is that Intel takes a macro theme (the power of their technology) and applies it on a micro level, exemplifying how their product is changing lives on a smaller scale, but in a significant way. It’s a great example of pull over push, with the ‘maker’s’ being the hero in the story, while the product plays a supporting role.
Additionally, the call to action, ‘what will you make’ takes a human approach, directing the viewer’s thinking to their purpose and the potential they have, rather than the potential of the product.
A walk down memory lane
As long as you are a living breathing human being, you have a story to tell, and when it comes to effective content marketing, storytelling is one of, if not the most powerful vehicle to generate and retain the attention of your audience.
Photobook company, ‘Artifact Uprising’, understood the power of a compelling and relatable narrative and ran with it in their video ‘On legacy’. The video features 95 year-old Joe Bucholt who wants to leave behind a simple, heartfelt legacy for his children and grandchildren through creating a photobook.
Similar to Intel, Artifact Uprising take a human approach, delving into how their product is helping an individual by putting the spotlight on their personal experience rather than their brand. But what makes this video really powerful is the lack of a sales pitch - it relies on emotion to pull audiences in rather than pushing information on them.
The Takeaway: Focus less on the sales pitch, and more on the human story that you want your target audience to relate to.
In a nutshell, if you are looking to create valuable, effective video content that will get a standing ovation from your target audience, a great place to start is by focusing less on yourself and instead focusing more on the stories and interests of your audience.
Find out what stories exist - engage with your audience and either answer a question they may have, or explore a value that resonates with both your brand and with them.